Tuesday, 21 May 2013



All purpose flour- 2 1/4 cups

Baking powder- 1 tspn

Baking soda- 1 tspn

Butter- 50 gms

Buttermilk- 1 cup(1/2 cup of thick curd or plain yogurt whipped with 1/2 cup of water)

Rosemary- 1 tbspn

Chopped garlic- 1 tbspn

Salt to taste

Milk to glaze- 1 tbspn


Pre heat the oven at 180 degrees.

Sieve the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt twice.

Add the garlic and rosemary and mix well. Slowly add the butter followed by buttermilk little by little to the flour mix and prepare the dough. Let the dough sit for 15 minutes.

Roll the dough to half an inch thickness on a flat surface. With the help of the cookie cutter cut out the dough to uniform sized cookie shape(kind of).

Grease the baking tray and place the cut out pieces of dough to be baked at 180 degrees for 20 minutes until brown and done.

Monday, 13 May 2013


Ingredients: (serves 4)

Diced pumpkin- 500 gms

Chopped onion- 1 large

Garlic cloves- 2

Ginger- 2 inches long stem

Green chillies- 2 no's

Almonds- 1 tbspn (chopped)

Sun flower seeds- 1 tbspn

Butter- 1 tbspn

Turmeric powder- a pinch

Fresh whipping cream- 2 tbspn

Water- 3 cups

Salt to taste


Heat the sauce pan and melt the butter. Add the onion, ginger, garlic and chillies to the molten butter and saute for less than a minute. Reduce the fire, add the nuts and stir.

Add the diced pumpkin to the pan. Add salt and turmeric powder. Add the water and let the pumpkin cook for 10 to 15 minutes until done with the lid covered. Remember not to overcook the pumpkin.

Switch off the fire and mash the pumpkin mixture to a smooth puree with the whipping cream.

Serve hot with bun, garlic bread.

Friday, 10 May 2013


Split bengal gram usually called "uzhunthu" in my Tamil language is a great energy booster I look upon when ever I feel weak, tired or suffering from body aches after a strenous week of exercise routine and a Mom's, wife's job. Well my mom prepares "uzhunthan soru" wherein this black gram is cooked with rice and consumed with some vegetable/ mutton gravy. Another great option is "vadai" which is made of polished black gram batter deep fried in oil.

I like this one somehow because I am very glad that I have skipped the rice part and the loads of oil in the vadai. This is a one pot dish and I prepared this in the pressure cooker. It is a good combo with roti, chapati, rice or any flat bread. Here in the pic I have served it with "spinach adai" which is a South Indian crepe made of the batter of little  rice, split bengal gram and pigeon peas(lentil). Ground paste of any green is added to the batter with some spices to prepare this. It can be simply called as the" rice and lentil crepe".

This gravy is almost like"Dal makhani" where the black gram is cooked with red beans without any potatoes.

To make it more interesting for my boys I have added potatoes so that they finish it without any of their long questions. Let's check on how to do this?


Split black gram- 1 cup(washed and soaked in water for 1 hour)

Potatoes-  2 cups(cleaned and diced)

Onion- 1 tbspn (finely chopped)

Tomatoes- 2 (finely chopped)

Ginger- garlic paste- 1 tspn

Garam masala- 1 tspn

Turmeric powder- 1 tspn

Chilly powder/ Paprika- 1 tspn

Coriander/ curry powder- 1 tspn

Water- 2 to 3 cups(depending on how thick or runny you want the gravy to be)

Fresh cream- 1 tbspn

Oil- 1 tbspn

Salt to taste

Cilantro- 1 tspn (finely chopped to garnish)


Heat the pressure cooker and add the oil.

Add the ginger- garlic paste followed by the onions. When the onions get browned add the tomatoes(wait until they turn soft)followed by the black gram.

Add all the spices at this point and stir well. Add the potatoes now followed by salt.

Mix all the ingredients well again. Close the pressure cooker and cook with 2 whistles.

When the cooker is all set to open gently mash and mix the gravy with a ladle to help the black gram blend well with the potatoes. Add the fresh cream, garnish with cilantro leaves and serve hot.

Note: You can also opt to cook the potatoes separately and later add it on to the black gram gravy depending on the variety of potatoes you have at home. This is just to avoid the potatoes from getting overcooked or under cooked.

Thursday, 9 May 2013


It is the season of red velvet cakes everywhere in Nairobi.Java house, Dormans have included this cake in their desserts list. You get attracted by the colour for sure but the loads of food colour that goes in is really not good. This time  I wanted a red velvet spaghetti (but definitely naturally). I got the same effect with the simple beetroot pesto I prepared. I made the pesto with roasted beets and some left over sunflower and pumpkin seeds.

This beet pesto has all the usual ingredients of a pesto except the spicy green chillies which I wanted it there. Nutty, spicy, healthy and above all colourful. To add some more veges, the roasted French beans was a very good combination.

Ingredients:(serves 4)

For the pesto:

Beetroot- 1

Garlic clove- 1

Spicy green chillies- 2

Sun flower and pumpkin seeds- 1 tbspn each

Lemon juice- 1 tbspn

Olive oil- 2 tbspn

Salt to taste


Cooked spaghetti- 4 cups

French beans- 7 no's (cut into 1 inch length)

Olive oil- 1 tspn

Salt to taste


Beet pesto:

Roast all the ingredients except the lemon juice in a frying pan with olive oil under low fire for around 3 to 5 minutes until the smell of the beet disappears. Let it cool. Grind the roasted ingredients with lemon juice to a coarse paste. You can also add more olive oil to make the pesto more yummier and smooth.

Adding more olive oil helps the pesto to blend well with the spaghetti. Olive oil is very good for your health and so you need not worry about adding more.

about to be ground

As the pesto is ready now, roast the beans in the oil with little salt and keep it aside. Now mix the pesto with the spaghetti uniformly with a spaghetti spoon taking care not to break them.

Gently toss in the roasted beans and serve with egg plant caviar or 


Friday, 3 May 2013


This dish is a simple one from the "Kikuyu" tribe of Kenya. The name "Mukimo"  meaning "mash". Mashed potatoes with the Kenyan greens "terere" and peas. Kikuyu's cook mukimo with "fresh green pumpkin leaves" and maize in it. Initially sounded weird to me."what? pumpkin leaves????". Later when I tried I just loved it. If you have got pumpkin leaves in your garden just add some chopped leaves in the place of terere in this recipe.

"Ndengu" is again a side dish made of "green grams". Usually mukimo is eaten with "Githeri"- made of red beans, maize and carrots like a stew. I like ndengu a lot and found it to be a very good go with mukimo. This dish is the secret of the strength of Kenyans. In this junky food world, this dish is really super quick and consists of very low fat hence very healthy. Quiet filling , and helps you to stay warm on a cold day.

Ingredients:(serves 2)


Potatoes- 250 gms(diced)

Terere- 1 small bunch(washed and finely chopped)

Green peas- 1/2 cup

Water- 2 cups

Salt to taste

Terere green


Cooked green grams- 1 cup

Chopped onion- 1 tbspn

Ginger- garlic paste- 1 tbspn

Chopped tomato- 1

Garam masala/ pilau masala- 1 tspn

Salt to taste

Oil- 1 tbspn

Chopped cilantro leaves to garnish



To prepare the mukimo, place all the ingredients except the terere in a sauce pan and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until the potatoes and peas are well mashed. Add the terere at this stage and stir. Cook for another 2 to 4 minutes and turn off the fire.

You can very well replace the terere with kale or any other green. To have a creamy taste you can also add some fresh cream.


Heat the pan and add the oil. Add the onions and when it turns brown add the ginger- garlic paste. At this stage add the tomato, salt and pilau masala and give a gentle stir.

Add the cooked green grams when the tomatoes turn soft and add 1/2 cup water and mix well. Wait until you get a boil and turn off the fire. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve with Mukimo. For a creamy taste you can also add 1/4 cup of coconut milk.